Dog mauling trial witness says she is being treated like a criminal

- A Detroit woman was called to testify in a high profile dog mauling trial, jumping into action to try to save a little boy's life.

Now she says she's being treated like a criminal. From day one, Cherisse Williams says she has done whatever she could to help in the fatal dog mauling case - now she is paying for it.

"She was sitting on the grass," Williams said. "I heard her crying, I walked up to her, touched her shoulder and she said the dogs got my baby."

It was Cherisse Williams who sprang into action last December, climbing through the fence and tried to tear the pack of pit bulls off 4-year-old Xavier Strickland who was being mauled to death in a backyard on Baylis in Detroit.

"I don't know who I was 'Superwoman' or something," she said. "I just ran to help, it was my mother's instinct. When you have children, you instantly jump to the occasion."

But now, Williams regrets it. Because instead of being praised for trying to help, she claims she is being treated like a common criminal.

She said when she called the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office to see if she was needed to testify as a witness at trial, she was told there was a witness detainer warrant out for her arrest.

When she went to court to clear it up she was arrested.

"I told the judge all I made was $8.50 an hour and his response was 'You are locked up, $50,000 bond cash only,'" she said. "Why would you do me like this. They made me stay in there a week and a half."

Williams tells us she was forced to live behind bars for a week and half - not because she committed a crime, but because the prosecutor's office did what it needed to do to have her testify against the owner of the dogs.

Because the prosecutor's office had a hard time contacting her because of her work schedule, Williams says they were under the impression she wasn't going to show up. Williams said that was never the case.

"All I wanted to do is make sure I was safe and my employers knew what was going on," she said.

As a result, Williams lost her job and became very fearful for her family. She and her two children live across the street from the man who is on trial for the fatal dog mauling.

Once she was testifying, she was released from jail, left to clean up the mess.

"This is why people will see people on the street who need help and act like they don't see it and turn their head," she said. "Because when you help, this is what you get. You get treated like a criminal and it is wrong."

FOX 2 asked the prosecutor's office to respond to the claims and Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Maria Miller says they could not because there was a gag order on the case.

Williams told us she was able to beg to get her job back but she lost all of that pay and as a single mother of two - it won't be easy to make up.

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